Have you always wanted to explore the possibility of selling your knitted clothing, handmade pins, art prints, and other hand-crafted items?
Well, we’re happy to report that you can turn these crafting hobbies into a small business through a platform called Etsy. The common question after finding that out is: Is Etsy legit?
Don’t worry; many starting business owners think about this too.
Luckily, with the help of this guide, you can start learning all about the platform and if it’s worth investing time and effort in it.
We’ll also review other options if Etsy isn’t the right marketplace for you.
Let’s get started!
- What Is Etsy?
- Common Questions to Understand
- Is Etsy Legit?
- Is Etsy Reliable?
- Is Etsy Safe?
- What Are Users Saying About Etsy?
- Why Are People Worried About Using Etsy?
- Etsy Quality & Guarantees
- Does Etsy Offer Customer Service?
- Conclusion: Is EtsyLegit?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Etsy Alternatives: Other Options to Try
- Wrapping Up
What Is Etsy?
Etsy is an e-commerce platform that’s primarily dedicated to crafters. The products offered on the site include clothes, jewelry, bags, home decor, art prints, craft supplies, and many more.
Unlike some of its biggest marketplaces online, like Amazon and eBay, Etsy has created a niche by narrowing the platform’s products.
Aside from handmade goods and digital products, the site also allows collectors to sell vintage items, provided they follow the guidelines set by Etsy.
Since the company’s launch in 2005, it’s been a go-to for consumers when it comes to handmade and customized art pieces.
Another primary driving force of this marketplace’s popularity is that they’ve made the process of selling on Etsy easy.
Creating an account on the website, setting up a shop, making product listings, and providing payment and billing methods is hassle-free for aspiring sellers.
How Does Etsy Work?
Since Etsy is a consumer-to-consumer marketplace, independent artists and collectors can open virtual storefronts and sell their pieces directly to other consumers.
Think traditional craft fairs but virtual. Instead of paying for a physical booth or stores and going through the hassle of physically setting up, Etsy charges independent sellers a fee of $0.20 per product listing.
Listings are then made available to over 90 million active users on the Etsy platform. The website then uses tags, product descriptions, photos, and other metrics to help connect potential buyers to sellers.
With an Etsy shipping label, sellers can ship their parcels through partner fulfillment services. Once received by the buyer, they can leave reviews on the product listing and the seller’s store page.
Common Questions to Understand
Before we go further into the legitimacy of Etsy, below are some fundamental questions about the platform that most small businesses and consumers ask.
Does Etsy Sell New or Used Items?
Etsy sells both new and used items since they allow vintage products. However, the platform has released official guidelines on what an independent creator or artist can sell.
According to Etsy’s Help Center, product listings should fall under these three categories:
- Handmade by the independent seller
- Craft Supplies
Is Etsy Selling Original or Fake?
Products on Etsy must be original because the platform’s Terms of Service state that sellers can’t sell fake or counterfeit items. The company will deactivate and shut down any Etsy account and shop that violates this policy.
Are There Fakers On Etsy?
There are many genuine products and honest sellers making money on Etsy, unfortunately, the platform isn’t immune to fakers. These scammers pose as legitimate buyers or sellers that trick unsuspecting users.
One of the most common scams is creating fake listings using other people’s photos and shipping out low-quality products that don’t match the description.
Luckily, Etsy has a refund system, but many scammers can still get away with this scheme.
With the rising number of schemes on the platform, Etsy has also made a guide on how to handle suspicious seller or buyer activities so users can stay safe.
Is Etsy Legit?
Yes, Etsy is legit. Records from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission show that Etsy’s online marketplace has successfully connected over 7 million sellers with 95 million consumers.
Below are four key points that help demonstrate the platform’s legitimacy even more.
- Reputation: Etsy was founded in 2005 and has been around for over 17 years. During this time, they’ve proven themselves to be a reputable brand.
- Established House Rules: The e-commerce platform has established legal terms and shop policies, like the Etsy Payment Policy, to protect sellers and customers. The marketplace uses secure payment methods that strictly adhere to these policies.
- Review System: Feedback from previous buyers helps confirm the legitimacy of an Etsy store because you get to read about others’ experiences. An Etsy review from actual buyers can vouch for products and attest to the item’s quality.
- Active Users: According to Statista, there were approximately 92 million active Etsy buyers in 2022. Their large active user base is a testament to the platform’s legitimacy because it shows that many consumers trust them.
Is Etsy Reliable?
We can trust Etsy’s reliability because of its clean track record and reputation. However, this doesn’t mean that the platform is 100% foolproof.
Shops rely heavily on Etsy’s third-party shipping services from USPS, FedEx, and Canada Post.
Unfortunately, this means when the product leaves the seller’s pick-up point, everything—from parcel handling to tracking—is solely in the hands of the courier or delivery service.
Unexpected discrepancies can happen at this point, and both buyers and sellers may have difficulty tracking parcels when the fulfillment service doesn’t do its job well.
In addition, the platform isn’t 100% safe from fake sellers and buyers. Users will have to practice keeping a keen eye on any suspicious behaviors, including asking for too much personal information, spam, and fraudulent payment methods.
Is Etsy Safe?
Etsy is safe, but remember that there’s always a risk when buying and selling stuff online. All users should still remain vigilant against scammers and suspicious schemes.
Never give out personal information or agree to a payment method outside of the website. Etsy can’t protect users when they transact through other platforms.
When payments are made through Etsy, you can trust that your credit card information is kept safe through a secure system on the site.
In addition, aside from a transaction fee—which is usually already incorporated in the final listing price—sellers shouldn’t charge you more than the published price.
Many stores on the platform are genuine, and Etsy has promised that it’s always working on removing sellers with counterfeit products.
However, some stores can still somehow go under the radar, so all users should stay cautious during transactions. Look for user reviews under the listings and check the seller’s other products.
Etsy also launched a purchase protection program and set aside $25 million to cover refunds for faulty or damaged products to help with buyer protection.
What Are Users Saying About Etsy?
To further reinforce the points that make Etsy legit, reliable, and safe, we took a look at what reviewers had to say about the platform.
These reviews are helpful in establishing the reliability and safety of a company since they come from actual people who have tried the site.
What ConsumerAffairs Reviewers Liked About Etsy
ConsumerAffairs is an American review platform where customers can leave comments and criticisms. They can also give companies a star rating, with five being the highest and one the lowest.
Here are three recurring reasons behind some five-star Etsy reviews:
- Wide Selection of Products: Etsy is home to an impressive range of independent artists, each one bringing its own unique set of skills and products into the market. This allows buyers to go through millions of product listings and find the one that fits their style and preference best.
- Support for Small Businesses and Independent Artists: Aside from the fee that Etsy collects per listing, all purchases go directly to supporting the artists and small business owners behind the products. The platform helps promote these small sellers instead of big corporations.
- Nice Merchants: Reviewers have also expressed that the sellers they encounter are kind and respectful. Merchants are easy to talk to and are understanding of any questions that buyers might have about their product.
What Trustpilot Reviewers Liked About Etsy
Trustpilot is another review platform that allows anyone who has tried different sites and companies to leave a review and a star rating.
Below is a short list of what reviewers liked about Etsy:
- Excellent Products: Many reviewers liked that Etsy product listings arrived in great quality. There was obvious care put into the creation of each item, even going as far as providing customizations on the product packaging as well.
- Impressive Customer Service: For lost or damaged parcels, Etsy’s customer service and the sellers themselves responded quickly and offered refunds and replacements. Some sellers were quick to send over additional items to compensate for any trouble.
- Speedy Deliveries: Most positive reviews mentioned the fast deliveries of their parcels. On top of the speedy arrivals, tracking the parcels was easy and hassle-free.
Why Are People Worried About Using Etsy?
Of course, no e-commerce platform is perfect. This is why we also reviewed some of the factors that concerned consumers on both ConsumerAffairs and Trustpilot websites.
What ConsumerAffairs Reviewers Worried About
There was an overwhelming number of 1-star reviews, but here are the top three recurring reasons why most reviewers were disappointed and worried.
- Unexplained Seller Account Suspensions: Many new sellers expressed their frustrations over getting suspended for no reason. According to most reviewers, Etsy didn’t reach out nor inform them what their violations were before a suspension was placed.
- Poor Buyer Protection: Some reviewers also felt like Etsy’s buyer protection was lacking as there were still sellers who didn’t deliver on the quality promised. In addition, it was difficult to file for a dispute over lost or damaged parcels.
- Increasing Mandatory Fees: One of the ways Etsy earns revenue is through the fees that come with every transaction or product listing. However, many sellers expressed their annoyance over increasing mandatory fees, which felt like the company was ripping off sellers and driving them away.
What Trustpilot Reviewers Worried About
As of writing, 73% of the reviews on Trustpilot are 1-star ratings. Below are the top reasons behind these low ratings.
- Lost Parcels: Both sellers and buyers are frustrated with the high number of lost parcels. There were parcels that never reached their destination and returned items that never found their way back to the sellers. Etsy and the fulfillment services claimed no responsibility over those items.
- Poor Customer Service: Many reviewers had bad experiences with Etsy support; they were either impossible to reach or responded late. Unfortunately, this meant customers couldn’t return or refund an item in time.
- Lack of Quality Control: While there were raving reviews about some products, there were also many buyers who were dissatisfied with the quality of a few items. They blame this on Etsy’s lack of quality control when it comes to product listings.
Etsy Quality & Guarantees
Now that we’ve established Etsy’s legitimacy as an online marketplace for handmade goods, what about the quality of the products listed on their site?
Technically, since the products are consumer-to-consumer, the quality of each listing heavily depends on the specific maker or Etsy shop.
However, does Etsy have any regulations in place that guarantee their site doesn’t sell items of subpar quality?
Well, yes and no. For example, there are policies for vintage items—they must be at least 20 years old to be considered vintage.
As for the actual quality of all items on the marketplace, Etsy can’t do much. Since it’s primarily a hosting service for independent artists and sellers, these individual stores are responsible for the quality of their products.
Sadly, many people have tried to use Etsy’s reputation for being a home for quality handmade items by selling mass-produced clothes or furniture on the site.
While this is against the platform’s guidelines for product listings, the company can’t check every single store, so some sellers get away with it.
Does Etsy Offer Customer Service?
There are mixed reviews when it comes to Etsy support and customer service.
All users can contact Etsy through the website, and they’ll respond either through a phone call, chat, or email.
However, if your questions are about a specific product listing, it’s better to contact the seller through the website’s messaging system. Each individual store would have a different customer service approach.
What Customer Service Options Are Available?
One way to contact Etsy Support is through the website’s “Contact Support” button. Ensure that you’re logged in, click the button, and then the site will try to narrow down your concern.
Select the applicable choices and wait for a response. Concerns can range from refunds to appealing against locked or suspended accounts.
Conclusion: Is EtsyLegit?
Yes, Etsy is legit. Many independent artists and sellers have found a home as the most successful Etsy shops on this online platform.
There are also tons of reviewers who have shared their experiences using the platform. In addition, the website continues to try and make the experience better for everyone.
However, since all transactions on Etsy are online, buyers and sellers still need to remain vigilant. Report suspicious behavior and never agree to transact outside of the platform for your safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do People Still Use Etsy?
Yes, Etsy still has an active user base. According to Statista, the website still has over 90 million users, and the trend is continually rising.
Is It Cheaper to Sell on Etsy or Amazon?
Etsy has lower standardized selling or commission rates compared to Amazon. In addition, the former doesn’t charge a monthly fee for sellers who want to keep their shop open.
For sellers with lower profit margins, selling on Etsy is the best option.
Etsy Alternatives: Other Options to Try
So, what if Etsy isn’t your cup of tea? Well, lucky for you, below are alternative online marketplaces you can try.
- Is Shein Legit?: Shein focuses mostly on affordable clothes and fashion items. Products are primarily sourced from wholesale warehouses, making them significantly inexpensive.
- Is Mercari Legit?: Mercari is a Japanese online marketplace for virtually anything, from clothes to electronics and toys. It’s easy, inexpensive, and has over 10 billion monthly transactions.
- Is Cider Legit?: Cider is a direct-to-consumer, China-based fashion brand whose ultimate goal is to make trendy clothes accessible to everyone. They’re known for their low-cost products.
So, is Etsy legit? The short answer is yes. Their years of experience in the industry, secure payment systems, and policies that aim to protect both buyers and sellers are all testaments to the company’s legitimacy.
Over the years, Etsy has processed billions of transactions on the platform and is home to millions of sellers and active buyers.
However, buyers can still get scammed by independent Etsy sellers. Fortunately, Etsy allows refunds, given that the dispute undergoes a due process and is approved.
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